Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

BRIEFING NOTE: After absolutely falling head over heels in love with Illuminae, I didn’t think it could get any better. Hahaha joke is on you, this one is ███████ fantastic and I loved it even more than the first book.

About the Book

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers  |  Release Date: October 18, 2016  |  Pages: 659
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction  |  Format: Hardcover & Audiobook  |  Source: Purchased

Obsidio coverMoving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

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My Review

Chums, I was sucked into Gemina immediately. It builds on the action from Illuminae and starts with a court proceeding of sorts for BeiTech. The evidence is the documents provided by the Illuminae Group, and the briefing notes we read in Illuminae and Gemina are part of the official record. I thought this was such an innovative way to frame the story, and I love books that start at the end and watching how things got to that point. 

As the Hypatia is making its way to Heimdall, the crew of Heimdall Station have their own problem: namely a BeiTech strike team set on eliminating the Jump Station so word cannot get out about the attack on Kerenza. In retrospect, I should have seen the intense heartbreak I felt coming because of how the book opens, but no one can prepare you for the ███████ emotional rollercoaster that is reading this book, chum. Guard your hearts now.

“When you fight a monster, be careful you don’t become the monster.”

I didn’t think I could love characters more than I love Kady and Ezra, but Nik and Hanna surpass my love tenfold. Their banter and sarcasm are similar in tone to the levity of Illuminae, serving as a great way to divert the tension you feel when reading the book, but it doesn’t feel recycled at all. The characters all feel real and I honestly feel so deeply for them.

“It’s not about what I say, right? It’s what I do that matters here.”

I love stories about sacrifice and ordinary people doing extraordinary things when the situation calls for it, and Geminadelivers an excellent narrative with people doing heroic things. I absolutely adore Hanna, Nik, and Ella with their Operation Thermopylae and their dedication to doing everything they can to stop the BeiTech crew… even give up their lives. I really enjoyed the tie in to war tactics and strategy, and Hanna’s propensity to quote Sun Tzu. They never really lose hope and the fast friendships and devotion to one another feel so organic to me – just like how veterans who serve together are bonded by that experience.

Analyst 7213 is still my favorite character and I absolutely live for his reporting on the video feeds. We get another Analyst added, 7213D, which… yes. Just all the yes.

BRIEFING NOTE: As with IlluminaeI read along with the full-cast audiobook and it was perfection. I love the audiobook so much, but I definitely recommend reading this one with a physical copy because some of the mixed media included are pages from Hannah’s journal – which are drawings by Marie Lu! You don’t want to miss them, just like you don’t want to miss the Lollipop Song, chum.

In case you can’t tell, I absolutely loved this book and it took almost a month for me to write this review. This book is another fast-paced adventure that answers questions about BeiTech and Illuminae, as well as raises the stakes. It is obvious the series was plotted intricately well and this book fits into the trilogy so well, and I cannot wait to read Obsidio. I don’t know if my heart is ready, or if I will ever trust again, but I cannot wait to see how this series ends!

REPRESENTATION: world is racially diverse
CONTENT WARNINGS:
betrayal, loss of a loved one, violence

🤝 This Mortal Squad buddy read with Becca and Taylor! This was another fantastic buddy read selection for the group worthy of our squad’s formation!

BRIEFING NOTE: I’d highly recommend reading along with the audiobook, which is full cast with sound effects and literally sounds like a movie; it’s incredible. If you do not have Audible they do have a free trial for new customers (one free book).

For giggles, here is my “review” upon finishing this book at the end of December, it took me literally a month to come up with the words to write this review.

December 29, 2018: I don’t know if I will ever trust again. holy hell, I didn’t think it could get any better after Illuminae but I was blown away yet again. incredible. Full RTC if I ever can form a coherent thought


spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

46 Comments

  1. ✩ Ashley ✩

    January 24, 2019 at 9:27 AM

    Gemina blew my mind!! It’s definitely my fave in the series but I gave them all 5 stars because of how much I love each one!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 10:43 AM

      Gemina was INCREDIBLE! It’s been a month since I’ve read it and I am still reeling. Need to read Obsidio still, I think that will be this weekend.

  2. Becca Leighanne (Bex)

    January 24, 2019 at 10:47 AM

    OH MY GOSH THAT DARN LOLLIPOP SONG LMAO. I absolutely LOVED Marie Lu’s artwork in this book, along with just the book, in general! Another amazing buddy read with you & Taylor <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 10:45 AM

      The lollipop song might be my fave part of the audio, lmao. It was just too funny! Marie’s artwork was amazing and I am so jealous of her skill. Loved buddy reading this with the squad & looking forward to Obsidio this weekend!

  3. trufflereads

    January 24, 2019 at 3:29 PM

    I love Gemina so much!! It’s honestly my favourite in the trilogy and I’m so glad you enjoyed it too. I really want to listen to them on all audio when I reread them because I know the full cast is amazing <3 Great review as always xx

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 10:50 AM

      Gemina is so amazing!!! It’s been a month since I read it and am still blown away, and I re-listened to the audio again last week for fun. Still amazing. Thanks so much!

  4. waytoofantasy

    January 24, 2019 at 3:51 PM

    Alright, definitely reading this series now! I’ll have to think how I can squeeze it in lol. Thanks for the review!

      1. waytoofantasy

        January 28, 2019 at 12:34 PM

        I have put an audio copy on hold through my library. Luckily they have all three on audio!

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          January 28, 2019 at 12:35 PM

          Oh wow that is super lucky!!!

          1. waytoofantasy

            January 28, 2019 at 12:36 PM

            It really is, they are often lacking in the type of audiobooks I enjoy. The universe must be with me on this one lol.

  5. Xandra @ Starry Sky Books

    January 24, 2019 at 4:13 PM

    I’m so glad you loved it! I really enjoyed Gemina, but there’s something about Kady and Ezra (maybe because they were introduced first?) that I love more than Hanna and Nik!

    Great review! 😀

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 10:52 AM

      Thank you so much, and I honestly am surprised that my love for Kady & Ezra was eclipsed! Really excited to see how it ends but I am also nervous/sad that it will be over soon!

  6. Rae

    January 24, 2019 at 5:02 PM

    Yaaaayyyyyy! So glad you loved this one too. I really need to read these. 💜

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 10:52 AM

      You really do, they are incredible!

  7. Norrie

    January 24, 2019 at 9:49 PM

    Yay??!! 🤩
    Can’t wait to read it. Story told backwards sounds cool!
    Got the audio already, hopefully i get to but the book next month as well.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 10:55 AM

      I honestly love books that start at the end and then jumps back into telling it linearly! When done well it is such a fun experience, I really like watching how things transpire to get to that end, and how my expectations may not match with reality. I hope you get to read it soon!

  8. Kathy @ Books & Munches

    January 25, 2019 at 1:46 AM

    I hope, for your sake, Obsidio doesn’t end up giving you the slump it gave me. I CRIED. I even recall shouting at my book at some point? Pretty sure I was also very tempted to throw it against a wall after a certain event. [I didn’t, but.. it came freaking close.] Afterwards, I was unable to read for two weeks which is LONG if you’re used to reading three to four books a week [at least I did that at the time.]

    BEST OF LUCK AND STRENGTH AND WHATEVER ELSE YOU NEED TO SURVIVE.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 10:59 AM

      Kathy this is exactly why it’s been a month and I haven’t read Obsidio yet! Gemina made me cry and scream and panic, and it took me like a month to even write this review! I love this series so much and as much as I am really looking forward to seeing how it ends, I really don’t WANT it to end!

      1. Kathy @ Books & Munches

        January 28, 2019 at 11:16 AM

        Oooh yikes. If Gemina already did that, Obsidio is going to be.. worse probably? But I SWEAR it’ll be worth it as well!

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          January 28, 2019 at 11:36 AM

          I’M GOING TO DIE, I need to write a will

          1. Kathy @ Books & Munches

            January 28, 2019 at 11:39 AM

            YOU WILL BE REVIVED.
            I hope

  9. bookedunicorn

    January 25, 2019 at 3:13 AM

    i hope to get back into the series this again i got distracted when i was started it last year. I will definitely read it along with the audiobook.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 11:00 AM

      I hope you enjoy the audiobooks as much as I do – seriously, the lollipop song in Gemina is 1000% worth it!

  10. confessionsofayareader

    January 25, 2019 at 10:23 AM

    I love your review! Nik and Hanna were my favorites and I loved Gemina the most out of all three books. I’m glad you loved it, too.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 11:03 AM

      Nik and Hanna are the BEST and I love them so much!

  11. sammers65

    January 25, 2019 at 10:57 AM

    I AM SO DUCKING HAPPY YOU LOVED GEMINA! MY HEART AND SOUL SANG AS YOU FELL EMOTIONALLY CRIPPLED! Needless to say, I can’t wait for you and the SQUAD to read Obsidio!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 11:05 AM

      I would be mad that your heart and soul sang when I fell emotionally crippled, but I was snickering while you panicked over TMC so I guess I am not much better. I AM SCARED TO READ OBISIDIO I don’t want it to end!

      1. sammers65

        January 28, 2019 at 12:04 PM

        Lololololol we are both evil MWUAHAHAHAHAH! Lol I don’t want it to end either that’s why I haven’t read it yet xD

  12. Meeghan reads

    January 25, 2019 at 11:48 PM

    ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I am so so so so so happy you loved Gemina this much!!! Saaaaaaaaame. Also, your review has brought back immense heart ache for me so I seem to have forgotten how to use grammar and spelling properly. I blame Kristoff and Kaufman for this (but less Amie because she’s beautiful and Jay likes to kill things).

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 11:16 AM

      Meeghan! Honestly every time I think about this book I lose my ability to form sentences! I even listened to the audio again last week and ugh it’s still so perfect.

  13. Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA

    January 26, 2019 at 7:49 AM

    OMG this review!!! I need to restart Gemina again! I was reading the book and listening to the audio with Illuminae and I got to meet Amie and Jay and basically tell that heeeeeyyyy my name is Ezrah, too! LOL

    I have the books and audiobooks for 2 & 3 so I can’t wait to read that this year!

    1. Zeee @ I Heart Romance & YA

      January 26, 2019 at 7:50 AM

      I forgot to add that your review sounds like the book as well!!!! Awesome job, chum! 😉

      1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

        January 28, 2019 at 11:19 AM

        Muahahaha, thank you chum! My review for Illuminae was in the same format, and so much fun to write!

    2. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 11:18 AM

      Ahhh how cool, I would love to meet Amie and Jay!

      I hope you find the time to read them soon and can scream about the glories of this series with me!

  14. Marie

    January 26, 2019 at 10:59 AM

    This was such a fantastic review, I’m so happy you loved Gemina so much! I also read it and really liked it, even if it scared me at times and all the tension was ahhhhh, haha. I’m so nervous to read the last installment in the series. I hope we’ll both love it 🙂 Happy reading! 😀

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 11:20 AM

      MARIE, THE TENSION WAS INTENSE! I swear reading this book is like being on pins and needles the whole damn time. I am in the same boat about Obsidio, though! I am so nervous – I kind of don’t want it to end!

      1. Marie

        January 29, 2019 at 10:54 AM

        RIGHT? That’s exactly the feeling I had, SO much tension and stress while reading. Not ready for that last book 😂 😂

  15. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites

    January 26, 2019 at 10:41 PM

    still holding off on continuing this series until I can get print copies, because reading the first book on Kindle was a struggle and a half – I adore the mixed media, but it’s too visual for my ereader to do it justice. but I’m so glad to know that it’s as good as the first book, and I absolutely can’t wait!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 11:24 AM

      I really think this is a book that would be best in physical format, I can’t imagine reading it on Kindle honestly. I have a spare PB copy of Illuminae… do you want it? I am upgrading to hardcover so it’s going to be donated to my library anyways.

      1. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites

        January 28, 2019 at 4:41 PM

        I’ve read Illuminae and have access to a pretty well-stocked library, so I really appreciate the offer but someone else could probably use it even more! 💖

  16. TheCaffeinatedReader

    January 27, 2019 at 7:40 AM

    I need to stop reading all these amazing reviews, my TBR is growing into an infinite pile, this series is getting added to it!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      January 28, 2019 at 11:26 AM

      OMG you are too kind and this is the best kind of comment to get, THANK YOU!

      Honestly though, read this series you won’t regret it.

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